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UCLA Opens Pac-12 Play at No. 2 Stanford

Sep 14, 2022
Tarun Karumanchi (photo: Don Liebig)

No. 14 UCLA (3-2-0) at No. 2 Stanford (4-0-1)
Date/Time: Thursday, Sept. 15 - 6:00 p.m. (PT)
Location: Stanford, Calif. (Cagan Stadium)
TV: Pac-12 Networks
TV Talent: Troy Clardy
Stream: / Pac-12 Now app
Live Stats

After playing four of its first five games of the season at home, No. 14 UCLA (3-2-0) hits the road to open Pac-12 play this week, starting with a showdown at No. 2 Stanford (4-0-1) on Thursday at 6:00 p.m. PT followed by a 4:00 p.m. match at California on Sunday afternoon. Both contests will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks, with a live stream available through Fans can also follow along with live stats and updates via the team Twitter account, @UCLAMSoccer.

  • UCLA is 3-2-0 overall on the year, and will be playing its first Pac-12 games of the season
  • 11 different players have recorded a point so far for UCLA through five games, including six separate goalscorers
  • The Bruins have a +2 goal differential on the year, and kept a clean sheet in the first two games of the season
  • UCLA has out-shot its opponent in four of five games so far, and has a 52-42 advantage in shots on aggregate for the year
  • The Bruins are 3-0 when scoring first, and 0-2 when conceding first
  • 2021: 11-7-1, reached second round of NCAA Tournament, +8 goal differential (all best since 2015)

UCLA appeared in two of three major national polls this week, checking in at No. 14 (TopDrawerSoccer) and No. 25 (United Soccer Coaches). Some notes on the Bruins' ranking:

  • UCLA has been ranked every week this season, debuting at No. 20 in the preseason polls and moving up as high as No. 4
  • The Bruins' No. 4 ranking earlier this season was the program's highest since Sept. 1, 2015 (No. 1)
  • Half of the Pac-12 is nationally ranked (others: No. 2 Stanford, No. 4 Washington)

UCLA has played just one game over the last week, dropping a 2-0 result at Portland on Saturday evening. It was the Bruins' first road game of the year, and marked the first time this year that UCLA was held without a goal. Sophomore keeper Nate Crockford made a season-high four saves for the Bruins, and junior left back Tommy Silva had a pair of shots (both on frame) to pace the Bruins in that department. The Pilots produced a goal on either side of the halftime whistle, with Jacob Babalai (one goal, one primary assist) leading the way. 

UCLA won its first three games of the 2022 season, a first for the program in 20 years (last: 2002). It's the second straight year that UCLA has started strong out of the gate, as last year's squad went 6-2-0 for the program's best eight-game start since 2009. 

UCLA enters the week ranked No. 20 in the country in assists (14). Eleven different Bruins have logged a helper this season, including two apiece from Pablo Greenlee, Tommy Silva, and Jose Sosa. The Bruins have recorded the full two assists on seven of the team's nine goals this year. 

The Bruins' five-goal output against Liberty on Sept. 2 was one of the program's most-prolific in recent memory:

  • It was the program's most in a single game since Oct. 6, 2019, matching the most single-game goals under fourth-year HC Ryan Jorden
  • Riley Ferch's five points matched the most by a Bruin since Milan Iloski potted five goals in that Oct. 6, 2019 games against the Aztecs
  • UCLA had eight unique players record a point against the Flames, the most in a single game since Oct. 26, 2017

In the first week of the season, UCLA recorded back-to-back shutouts against UC Irvine and Virginia Tech...

  • For the second time ever under fourth-year head coach Ryan Jorden
  • UCLA was one of just 36 teams in the country with no goals against in the season's first week (only 10 of which played multiple games)

Not only did the Bruins not allow a goal against UCI and VT, they didn't even allow a shot on goal:

  • First time allowing zero shots on goal in a game since Oct. 7, 2018 vs. Oregon State
  • First time allowing 0 SOG in consecutive games since at least 1999 (the years in which single-game box scores are available)
  • UCLA allowed 0 SOG twice in a three-game span in 2011
  • UCLA was the only school in the country with 0 SOG against over the season's first week
  • Including exhibitions, UCLA is averaging just 2.4 shots on goal against per game (17 SOG over seven games)

UCLA returns the vast majority of its offensive production from a season ago, including:

  • 31 of 33 goals (94%)
  • 36 of 42 assists (86%)
  • 98 of 108 points (91%)
  • 10 of 11 game-winning goals (91%)
  • Seven of 10 outfield starters
  • The top six, and nine of the top 10, scorers from a year ago (on points)

UCLA owns a 45-17-11 record all-time against Stanford. The Bruins went 1-0-1 against the Cardinal last year, marking a turnaround in recent series history (the win snapped a 10-game losing streak and 14-game pointless streak against Stanford, and UCLA won the season series for the first time since 2013). UCLA will be seeking its first victory at Cagan Stadium since 2013. 

UCLA won the season series over Stanford in 2021, recording a 2-0 win at home on Sept. 16 before drawing 1-1 away on Oct. 24. Riley Ferch drew a penalty in the 50th minute, and since-graduated Yoni Sorokin converted on the PK, to net the game-winning goal against the Cardinal at Wallis Annenberg Stadium, and Kevin Diaz added an insurance goal off the counter in the 79th minute. UCLA controlled possession throughout the game and especially late, limiting the Cardinal to one shot over the final 35 minutes. UCLA and Stanford battled to a 1-1 draw in heavy rain at Cagan Stadium, with both teams scoring late in the second half. Jose Contell found the opener at 74th minute, knocking in a corner at the far post. Stanford answered back with an 82nd minute score off a set piece to equalize. The game was called at the end of regulation due to poor field conditions caused by the weather. 

Despite the overtime rule changes, UCLA remains one of 59 teams nationwide without a draw on its ledger this season. The Bruins have tied just once over their last 28 games (Oct. 24, 2021 at Stanford). Of note, that contest against Stanford was called early due to torrential rainfall, so UCLA hasn't had a full-time draw since Mar. 24, 2021. 

Thanks in part to a large advantage in possession numbers, UCLA is committing just 8.2 fouls per game to this point of the season. That figure ranks 13th lowest in the country, and second-lowest in the Pac-12 behind Washington's 7.8.